Quality assurance: breaking down silos
Data from the quality function joins design and production figures to improve efficiency
There is an old adage in the field of precision: to measure is to know. The 200+ exhibitors in the Quality Assurance Pavilion at IMTS 2022 promise fresh looks at traditional approaches to quality determination, such as gauges, probes, and micrometers, on all-new cloud-based digital platforms offering new data-driven insights into what determines quality in manufacturing.
Earlier this year, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division announced Nexus, an open platform for intelligent manufacturing. Nexus will enable real-time data sharing between different design, simulation and production applications, including inspection and quality assurance.
Applications once siled and separated will form workflows, combining technologies and perspectives to develop unique solutions to engineering and manufacturing problems, from concept to delivery. It will enable cross-functional teams to take advantage of fragmented digital data by improving visibility and connectivity, gaining unprecedented insights to bring ideas to life faster, and producing higher quality results, the company said.
Nexus is able to leverage Hexagon data sources across its extensive portfolio; connecting hundreds of Hexagon design and engineering, production and metrology software tools and opening up new possibilities from connected machines. Additionally, cloud-native visualizations and data management solutions such as HxGN Metrology Reporting and MaterialCenter have been built as cloud-native applications and will be connected via Nexus.
“Our customers are managing increasing complexity in the marketplace, which demands innovation faster than ever,” said Parth Joshi, director of product and technology for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “Siloed tools, rigid systems and inaccessible data are becoming less and less suited to the needs and pressures of the manufacturing industry.”
The company’s vision for Nexus is “to enhance the products our hundreds of thousands of customers know and love with additional capabilities, powered by cloud, AI and machine learning, real-time collaboration and advanced visualization,” Joshi continued. “Nexus will enable manufacturers to create more agile and resilient processes so they can respond positively to change and take advantage of new opportunities, create faster paths to products, and develop increasingly autonomous workflows, realizing thus the full potential of intelligent and sustainable quality-assured manufacturing.” You can find Hexagon at booth 135202.
On the production floor, automation solutions make themselves seen and heard in quality assurance. Joshua Old, director of engineering at Capture 3D, a Zeiss company (Santa Ana, Calif.), said about 60% of customer projects include automation, such as the ATOS ScanBox BPS (batch processing system ). This requires little operator intervention: the system can scan parts during an eight- or 12-hour night shift and deliver inspection reports and digital twins in the morning.
Digital twins with accurate 3D scan data can be used to create virtual assemblies for rigorous analysis of form, fit and function prior to production. “Many of our customers are also connecting their 3D metrology solutions to their manufacturing platforms to create a more complete ecosystem for true Industrial Internet of Things initiatives,” Old added. Visit Capture 3D at booth 135527.
Closed loop machining
Data collection can also take place on machining centers equipped with blue light scanners or touch probes, but the data is generally considered too dirty for anything other than the simplest cut-measure-cut routines. Applied Automation Technologies (Booth 135760) of Rochester, Michigan cannot agree.
The company describes its CAPPSNC software as CAD-based online and offline dimensional measurement software for CMM and CNC controllers. This allows customers to program their machine tools as CMMs, providing real-time feedback for machine tool settings as parts are manufactured.
Ray Karadayi, President and CEO of Applied Automation Technologies, said, “CAPPSNC software is truly an Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing technology because it uses metrology information throughout the manufacturing process to adaptive control.
Chris Affer, AAT3D Principal Application Engineer, added, “The software allows for simple and accurate part setup and machine axis diagnostics. This pre-processing approach allows the customer to define specific work and tool offsets prior to machining. In-process adaptive manufacturing occurs when CAPPSNC automatically makes machining program corrections from real-time in-process feedback via on-machine probing. Finally, in the post-process, detailed quality reports are created for the machine with SPC analysis and metrology data. CAPPSNC supports sensor interfaces such as CNC touch probes, scanning contact probes, non-contact laser scanners and non-contact CCD cameras. It provides dynamic feedback for errors due to part offsets, errors due to part mounting, errors due to tool wear, and errors due to thermal effects. Ultimately, it can provide all the advanced CMM reports needed.
Affer further explained, “CAPPSNC integrates a wide variety of CNC machines for on-machine inspection and smart manufacturing needs, including machining centers, mills and lathes, turret lathes, printing Large-scale 3D and additive manufacturing, waterjet and laser cutting machines. , as well as robotic applications.
Wireless and mobile data collection
LS Starrett Co. (Athol, Mass.), an established supplier of measurement and metrology systems, also recognizes that it is essential to increase the speed, volume and accuracy of measurement data collection and inspection. According to Emerson Leme, Vice President of Industrial Products, “In terms of precision measurement data acquisition/collection for quality control purposes, the clearest path to these benefits comes from wireless and mobile retrieval technology. .”
To support this path, Starrett will be unveiling the DataSure 4.0 Wireless Data Collection System at its IMTS booth (135044) with demonstrations of automated wireless measurement data capture and transmission from its full line of wireless handheld instruments. wire/electronics. “DataSure 4.0 is a key contributor to automated and smart factories and dramatically increases the accuracy and speed of data collection. The system is quick and easy to use, as well as versatile and customizable. Additionally, DataSure 4.0 is scalable with high data security capable of operating over unlimited distances,” said Leme.
In a study of the throughput and accuracy of data collection, Starrett reports taking measurements with a micrometer, writing the results down by hand, and manually entering the data. This resulted in 37 time/motion elements, 28.9 seconds per game, and 62 input errors. “By measuring and capturing data directly with the DataSure wireless data collection system, we had only 17 time/motion items, 6.6 seconds per piece with no input errors.”
In another example, an engine builder customer implemented Starrett and DataSure 4.0 wireless indicators, saving 8-10 seconds on each measurement taken, translating to over seven hours of labor savings. daily work on the thousands of measurements carried out. They also eliminated incorrect data, including reducing scrap and rework, according to the company.
Another major metrology supplier, Mahr Inc. (Booth 135810) of Providence, RI, introduces a new generation of electronic digital comparators, the Millimess 2000 W(i) and 2001 W(i). The new digital comparators combine reliable operation with maximum precision. Thanks to a unique inductive measurement system, measurements are more accurate than ever with additional probe linearization, whether it is a static or dynamic measurement task, the company said.
The principle of inductive length measuring probes enables extreme sensitivity of the measuring system, thus offering a resolution of 0.1 µm/5 µ”. Colored LED signals visually indicate an additional clear classification of the measured value (good, rejected , recovery or warning limit) depending on the recorded value tolerance and warning limit values.
With convenient touch control panels, the new digital dial gauges offer maximum measurement reliability, even in harsh workshop environments. A light pressure on the touch screen is enough to safely use the digital indicators with most commercially available gloves. This eliminates the possibility of measurement errors by accidental adjustment or deformation of the comparator. The full-surface glass display also provides protection against liquids and dirt, which cannot penetrate the sealed housing.
The need for quality and inspection data will never go away, but the speed, volume, accuracy, and integration of that data is evolving and dramatically improving manufacturing. The Quality Assurance Pavilion at IMTS 2022 is full of examples.